Skip to Content


511 – The National Traveler Information phone number that will provide local freeway, transit, rideshare, airport, general emergency, and other traveler related services. 511 is targeted for deployment in Los Angeles County in 2010 and will ensure that our region complies with this requirement of the federal SAFETEA-LU authorization program.

ADA (AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT) – Federal civil rights legislation for disabled persons passed in 1990. It mandates that public transit systems make their services more fully accessible to the disabled. If persons with disabilities are not capable of accessing general public transit service, the law requires agencies to fund and provide for delivery of paratransit services which are capable of accommodating these individuals.

ADT (AVERAGE DAILY TRAFFIC) – The average number of vehicles passing a specified point during a 24-hour period.

AIR QUALITY INDEX – A measure of the total weight of mobile source pollutant emissions (carbon monoxide, oxides of nitrogen, and reactive organic gases) from transportation modes. Both the emission factors and the formula that enables the composite index to be calculated are provided by the California Air Resources Board (CARB). The emission factors are sensitive to the number, length and speed of vehicle trips and take into account projected emission reductions due to such improvements as alternative fuels and electric vehicles.

AMTRAK NATIONAL RAILROAD PASSENGER CORPORATION – National passenger rail service which shares track with Metrolink under contract with the Southern California Regional Rail Authority (SCRRA) to provide passenger rail service in Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura Counties. Metrolink monthly passes can be used as proof of payment on duplicating service operated by Amtrak.

AQMD (AIR QUALITY MANAGEMENT DISTRICT) – An intergovernmental agency established to monitor air quality within a region and to implement state and federal air quality standards through the development of regional air quality plans and regulations.

AQMP (AIR QUALITY MANAGEMENT PLAN) – A plan for attaining state air quality as required by the California Clean Air Act of 1988. The plans are adopted by air quality districts and subject to approval by the California Air Resources Board.

ARTERIAL STREET – A major thoroughfare, used primarily for through traffic rather than for access to abutting land, that is characterized by high-vehicular capacity and continuity of movement. The street is either divided or undivided and its main function is to carry non-local traffic at medium speeds.

ARTICULATED BUS – A bus with an increased passenger capacity due to its significantly longer length. The increased length is accommodated by the fitting of an extra axle and joint into the design of the bus, allowing it to efficiently navigate turn movements in city traffic.

ASSEMBLY BILL 32 – The California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006. California’s landmark bill that establishes a first-in-the-world comprehensive program of regulatory and market mechanisms to achieve real, quantifiable, cost-effective reductions of greenhouse gases.

ATSAC (AUTOMATED TRAFFIC SURVEILLANCE AND CONTROL SYSTEM) – ATSAC is a computer-based traffic signal control system operated by the City of Los Angeles that monitors traffic conditions and system performance on the existing arterial street system, selects appropriate signal timing (control) strategies, and performs equipment diagnostics and alert functions. Sensors in the street detect the passage of vehicles, vehicle speed, and the level of congestion. This information is received on a second-by-second (real-time) basis and is analyzed on a minute-by-minute basis at the ATSAC Operations Center, to determine if better traffic flow can be achieved by changing the signal timing. To supplement the information from electronic detectors, closed-circuit television (CCTV) surveillance equipment is installed at critical locations.

AVO (AVERAGE VEHICLE OCCUPANCY) – The average number of persons occupying a passenger vehicle along a roadway segment, intersection, or area and monitored during a specified time period. For purposes of the California Clean Air Act, passenger vehicles include autos, light-duty trucks, passenger vans, buses, passenger rail vehicles and motorcycles.

AVR (AVERAGE VEHICLE RIDERSHIP) – The number of employees who report to a worksite divided by the number of vehicles driven by those employees, typically averaged over an established time period. This calculation includes crediting vehicle trip reductions from telecommuting, compressed workweeks and non-motorized transportation.
BIKE-TRANSIT HUB – Locations served by numerous transit or rail lines that have been designated by Metro as prime candidates for bicycle access improvements with the goal of allocating bikeway resources to areas that will improve both bicycle and transit ridership in the form of linked trips.

BLD LINK (BUILD LINK) – A series of programs that create walk access links for the transit network building process.

BRT (BUS RAPID TRANSIT) – BRT combines the quality of rail transit with the flexibility of buses. It can operate on exclusive transitways, HOV lanes, expressways, or ordinary streets. A BRT system combines Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) technology, priority for transit, lower emissions, quieter vehicles, rapid and convenient fare collection, and integration with land use policy.

BUS SPEED IMPROVEMENTS – Evaluation of means of improving bus speeds in Los Angeles County through use of ITS and identification of locations where speeds could be improved through the establishment of bus-only lanes.

BUSWAY – A street lane which is reserved for the exclusive use of buses, either in a separated right-of-way or on a city street.

BTA (BICYCLE TRANSPORTATION ACCOUNT) – The Caltrans BTA provides state funds for city and county projects that improve safety and convenience for bicycle commuters.

BTSP (BICYCLE TRANSPORTATION PLAN) – Plan to enhance bicycling as a viable transportation mode for Los Angeles County.

CAA (CLEAN AIR ACT) – Federal legislation that requires each state with areas that have not met Federal air quality standards to prepare a State Implementation Plan (SIP). The sweeping 1990 amendments to the CAA established new air quality requirements for the development of metropolitan transportation plans and programs. The California Clean Air Act (CCAA) sets even tougher state goals.

CALIFORNIA GLOBAL WARMING SOLUTIONS ACT OF 2006 – Legislation passed by the California Assembly and signed by the Governor (AB 32) that requires major industrial producers of carbon dioxide to reduce emissions 25 percent by 2020.

CALTRANS (CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION) – Caltrans is responsible for the design, construction, maintenance and operation of California Highway System, including the Interstate Highway System within the state’s boundaries.

CARB (CALIFORNIA AIR RESOURCES BOARD) – CARB was established by the California Legislature in 1967 to attain and maintain healthy air quality, conduct research into the causes of, and solutions to, air pollution, and systematically attack the serious problem caused by motor vehicles, which are the major causes of air pollution in the State. Since its formation, the CARB has worked with the public, the business sector, and local governments to protect public health, the economy, and state ecological resources through cost-effective reduction of air pollution.

CARBON FOOTPRINT – A measure of the impact human activities have on the environment in terms of the amount of greenhouse gases produced, measured in units of carbon dioxide. It is meant to be useful for individuals and organizations to conceptualize their personal (or organizational) impact in contributing to global warming.

CARPOOL – Arrangement in which two or more people share the use, cost or both of traveling in privately owned automobiles between fixed points on a regular basis.

CARPOOL LANE – A highway or street lane reserved for carpools and other high occupancy vehicles.

CARPOOL LANE CONNECTORS – Dedicated freeway lanes that permit direct transfer of high occupancy vehicles from one HOV lane to another, thereby minimizing weaving conflicts and enabling ridesharing vehicles to maintain their speed advantage through freeway interchanges. These lanes make it possible for carpoolers using more than one freeway to travel without leaving the HOV lane to change freeways.

CARPOOL LANE MILES – Total number of freeway lane miles dedicated to high occupancy vehicle (HOV) use.

CCAR (CALIFORNIA CLIMATE ACTION REGISTRY) – Non-profit organization that provides leadership on climate change by developing and promoting credible, accurate, and consistent greenhouse gas reporting standards and tools for organizations to voluntarily measure, monitor, and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.

CEQA (CALIFORNIA ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY ACT) – A statute that requires all jurisdictions in the State of California to evaluate the extent of environmental impact due to a proposed development or project.

CFP (CALL FOR PROJECTS) – Metro’s primary process for the selection of transportation improvement projects for funding with discretionary federal, state and local revenues.

CHP (CALIFORNIA HIGHWAY PATROL) – The major statewide law enforcement agency responsible for the management and regulation of traffic on Caltrans-designated freeways and highways to achieve safe, lawful and efficient use of the highway system.

CIP (CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM) – The CIP is a comprehensive agency-wide five-year program that adds and replaces capital assets such as buildings, buses, rail cars, equipment and furniture. A CIP provides detailed justifications, cost estimates, funding type and priority listing of new and replaced equipment based on life cycle, safety, need and related criteria.

CLIMATE CHANGE – A shift in global weather patterns resulting in an increase in the variability of temperature, precipitation, and wind in a region over a period of time. Recent studies suggest that emissions from gasoline-powered internal combustion engines have contributed to global climate warming.

CMAQ (CONGESTION MITIGATION AND AIR QUALITY IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM) – Federal funds available for either transit or highway projects that contribute significantly to reducing automobile emissions which cause air pollution. Established by the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act.

CMP (CONGESTION MANAGEMENT PROGRAM) – As the Congestion Management Agency for Los Angeles County, Metro is responsible for implementing the CMP for Los Angeles County. State statute requires that a congestion management program be developed, adopted, and updated for every county that includes an urbanized area, and shall include every city and the county government within that county. Statutory elements of the CMP include Highway and Roadway System monitoring, multi-modal system performance analysis, the Transportation Demand Management program, the Land Use Analysis program, and deficiency plans for all the county’s jurisdictions.

CNG (COMPRESSED NATURAL GAS) – The type of fuel used by the majority of Metro’s bus fleet. CNG is considered to be an environmentally clean alternative to diesel fuel. Metro’s CNG powered vehicles reduce our region’s production of greenhouse gases with an average reduction in ozone-forming emissions of 80 percent compared to gasoline engines.

CNG-POWERED BUSES – Vehicles that run on compressed natural gas. CNG is becoming an alternative to the diesel fuel commonly used in transit buses. The attraction of CNG is due to its ability to meet the low emission regulations being imposed upon the transit industry and the abundant supply of the fuel in the United States. CNG is pressurized to 3,600 pounds per square inch (psi) and stored in carbon fiber containment vessels aboard the vehicles.

CO (CARBON MONOXIDE) – A colorless, odorless, poisonous gas produced mostly by the incomplete combustion of fuels used for transportation, heating, and electric power generation, and as a by-product of some industrial processes.

CO2E (CARBON DIOXIDE EQUIVALENT) – A measuring technique for determining the global warming potential of a greenhouse gas as compared to the amount of carbon dioxide that would be required to cause the same impact.

COG (COUNCIL OF GOVERNMENTS) – COGs are sub-regional cooperative and advocacy associations of city governments.

COMMITTED PROJECTS – Committed projects include any project for which funding has been approved by the Metro Board.

COMMUTER RAIL – Fixed-rail public transit system, generally utilizing heavy rail and track. Metrolink is the commuter rail service in Los Angeles County.

COMPLETE STREET – Street design methodology that enables safe street access for all users. Pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists, and bus riders of all ages and abilities are able to safely move along and across a complete street.

CONGESTION MITIGATION FEE – A proposed one-time impact fee, currently under study, applied to all types of new development to fund transportation improvements.

CONGESTION PRICING – Congestion pricing is the concept of charging for the use of a transportation facility, such as a roadway, based on the level of congestion. The greater the level of congestion, usually occurring during morning and evening rush hours, the higher the cost to use the facility.

CONSTRAINED PLAN – The element of Metro’s Long Range Transportation Plan that is funded with available resources.

CONTAINER – A single rigid receptacle without wheels usually measuring approximately 20 feet to 53 feet long by 8 ½ feet wide and 8 feet tall that is used for the transport of goods hauled on a truck, rail car, and ship (or a type of carrier equipment into which freight is loaded).

CONTAINER FEES – Fees that could be imposed on freight containers to finance infrastructure and environmental clean-up projects.

COST EFFECTIVENESS INDEX – Measures the cost of transportation system improvements as compared to the travel-time savings and air pollution reductions that are the result of the improvement.

CRASH ENERGY MANAGEMENT PROGRAM – A program that will work to minimize the impact of collisions on the passenger compartments of commuter rail (Metrolink) trains.

CROSSOVER – Railroad switchover tracks allowing trains to cross from one track to another, improving the efficiency of train operations.

CSAN (COUNTYWIDE SIGNIFICANT ARTERIAL NETWORK) – A regional arterial network developed by Metro and Cities to assist in determining the performance of the system, guiding future transportation planning and helping target arterial improvements through the Call for Projects.

CTC (CALIFORNIA TRANSPORTATION COMMISSION) – A state-level commission consisting of eleven members (nine appointed by the Governor and two appointed by the Legislature) that establishes priorities and allocates state and federal funds for highway, passenger rail and transit investments throughout California.

DEADHEAD – The movement of a transit vehicle to or from its designated and scheduled route. It is not in passenger service, but rather is traveling between routes, or to/from the transit yard or to/from its route.

DEDICATED FREIGHT GUIDEWAYS – Roadways or railways used exclusively by vehicles carrying freight.

DESIGN-BUILD – A construction project delivery system in which the design and construction aspects of a project are contracted for with a single entity known as the design-builder or design-build contractor. This system is used to minimize project risk for an owner and to reduce the delivery schedule by overlapping the design phase and
the construction phase of a project.

DYNAMIC PRICING– A toll collection strategy where tolls are continuously adjusted throughout the day according to traffic conditions to maintain a minimum designated speed.

EIR (ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT REPORT) – A detailed report required under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) describing and analyzing the significant environmental effects of a proposed project, identifying alternatives and discussing ways to reduce or avoid the possible environmental impacts.

EIS (ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT) – A full disclosure document required under the National Environmental Policy Act that details the process through which a transportation project was developed, includes consideration of a range of reasonable alternatives, analyzes the potential environmental impacts resulting from the alternatives, and demonstrates compliance with other applicable environmental laws and ex-ecutive orders.

EMS (ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT SYSTEM) – A set of environmental planning processes and practices that enables an organization to reduce its environmental impacts and increase its operating efficiency through pollution mitigation and resource conservation.

ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE – The term stems from a 1994 presidential executive order to promote equity for disadvantaged communities and promote the inclusion of racial and ethnic populations and low-income communities in decision-making. Local and regional transportation agencies must ensure that services and benefits, as well as burdens, are fairly distributed to avoid discrimination.

EZ TRANSIT PASS – The regional monthly pass offered to customers that provides seamless riding among Los Angeles County’s sixteen Municipal transit operators and Metro bus and rail services.

EXPRESSLANES – A set of lanes physically separated from the general-purpose capacity provided within major roadway corridors. Express lane access is managed by limiting the number of entranced and exit points to the facility. Metro, Caltrans, and other mobility partners are working together on a one-year demonstration project, scheduled to open in 2012, during which existing carpool lanes on the I-10 El Monte Busway and I-110 Harbor Transitway will be converted to High-Occupancy Toll (HOT) Lanes – called ExpressLanes. Also see HOT Lane.

FAP (FORMULA ALLOCATION PROCEDURE) – Formula used to allocate federal and state bus transit funds among the various transit agencies in Los Angeles County.

FARE BOX RECOVERY – The amount of revenue generated through fares by paying customers as a fraction of the total Metro operating expenses.

FFGA (FULL FUNDING GRANT AGREEMENT) – Funding pact approved by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) that guarantees federal funding for a specified transportation project.

FHWA (FEDERAL HIGHWAY ADMINISTRATION) – A branch of the Federal Department of Transportation that administers and funds the nation’s highway system.

FIXED GUIDEWAY – System of vehicles that can operate only on its own guideway constructed for that purpose (e.g. commuter rail, light rail).

FREEWAY RAMP METERING – A freeway to which access is controlled by entrance ramp signals that use fixed-time signal settings or is regulated by a computerized surveillance system. This procedure is used to prevent freeway congestion.

FSP (FREEWAY SERVICE PATROL) – Towing services funded by Metro to remove stalled vehicles from freeway lanes, especially during peak periods. The FSP also assists stranded motorists who may have run out of gas or need to change a tire.

FTA (FEDERAL TRANSIT ADMINISTRATION) – The agency of the Federal Government which provides funding for national policy, technical assistance, and transit programs.

FUEL CELL – An energy conversion device that produces electricity in hybrid electric and hydrogen-powered vehicles.

FY (FISCAL YEAR) – The annual period for which a business entity establishes a budget for spending. In California government, the fiscal year is from July 1st until June 30th each year; the same fiscal year that Metro uses. The federal government’s fiscal year (FFY) is from October 1st until September 30th of each year.

GHGe (GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS) – Greenhouse gas emissions are gases that trap heat in the atmosphere. Some greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide occur naturally and are emitted to the atmosphere through natural processes and human activities. Other greenhouse gases (e.g. fluorinated gases) are created and emitted solely through human activities.

GLOBAL WARMING – Term used to describe the increase in the average temperature of the Earth’s surface air and oceans in recent decades and its projected continuation. Studies have shown that much of this warming is attributable to greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere by industrial and mechanical exhaust.

GREENHOUSE EFFECT – The process by which the emission of ozone into the atmosphere warms Earth’s surface.

GUIDEWAY – Facility housing a transit system, either a subway tunnel, at-grade trackway or busway, or aerial structure. Also see Fixed guideway.

HBNW (HOME-BASED NON-WORK) – A trip with one end at home and the other end at a non-work location.

HBW (HOME-BASED WORK) – A trip with one end at work and the other end at home.

HC (HYDROCARBON) – Organic compound that contains hydrogen and carbon. Hydrocarbons produce energy when burnt and are currently the world’s primary source of electrical energy and heating. The emissions produced by the combustion of petroleum in gasoline engines is understood to be a major source of greenhouse gas, and is contributory to global climate warming.

HIGHWAY – A freeway or expressway which provides limited access for inter-regional or interstate travel or a major arterial which has been designated as part of the state highway system.

HOT LANE (HIGH-OCCUPANCY TOLL LANE) – A tolled lane that operates alongside existing highway lanes to provide users with a faster and more reliable travel option. Metro, Caltrans, and other mobility partners are working together on a one-year demonstration project, scheduled to open in 2012, during which existing carpool lanes on the I-10 El Monte Busway and I-110 Harbor Transitway will be converted to HOT Lanes – called ExpressLanes. Also see ExpressLanes.

HOV (HIGH OCCUPANCY VEHICLE) – Any transportation vehicle carrying more than one person for travel purposes. This may include an automobile, bus, or train.

HOV LANE (HIGH OCCUPANCY VEHICLE LANE) – A freeway lane reserved for use by vehicles carrying more than one passenger, including buses, taxis, and carpools. Motorcycles and certain alternatively fueled vehicles are also permitted to use the lanes.

HSR (HIGH-SPEED RAIL) – Type of passenger rail transport which operates significantly faster than the normal speed of rail traffic. It would link Southern California to Sacramento and the San Francisco Bay Area through the San Joaquin Valley.

HYBRID ELECTRIC – A vehicle that combines a conventional internal combustion gasoline engine with a rechargeable electric energy storage system to achieve better fuel economy.

IEN (LOS ANGELES COUNTY INFORMATION EXCHANGE NETWORK) – Allows the collection and distribution of arterial street-level operational and planning data to facilitate signal coordination between and through jurisdictions.

INTERMODAL – The term “mode” represents one method of transportation, such as automobile, transit, ship, bicycle or walking. Intermodal refers specifically to transportation trips using one or more modes.

ISTEA (INTERMODAL SURFACE TRANSPORTATION EFFICIENCY ACT) – Landmark federal legislation signed into law in 1991 that initiated broad changes in the way transportation decisions are made. ISTEA emphasized diversity and balance of modes, as well as the preservation of existing systems before construction of new facilities. ISTEA expired in 1997, and much of its program structure was carried forward in successor federal legislation (see TEA-21 and SAFETEA-LU).

ITS (INTELLIGENT TRANSPORTATION SYSTEMS) – Technical innovations that apply communications and information processing to improve the efficiency and safety of ground transportation systems.

ITS INITIATIVES – Can include closed-circuit video monitoring of freeway traffic conditions and the use of automatic vehicle location technology to provide real-time transit and traffic information to the 511 telephone and Web-based information service. ITS initiatives are also used to coordinate traffic signals and speed emergency vehicle response times.

JPA (JOINT POWERS AUTHORITY) – A voluntary association of government entities formed into a special purpose agency to deal with a common problem or problems, carry out a specific project, or provide a specific service.

LACDPW – Los Angeles County Department of Public Works.

LADOT – Los Angeles Department of Transportation.

LEED (LEADERSHIP IN ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENTAL DESIGN) – The green building standards rating system. LEED is administered by the U.S. Green Building Council, a Washington DC based, nonprofit coalition of building industry leaders and is designed to promote design and construction practices that increase profitability while reducing the negative environmental impacts of buildings and improving occupant health and well-being.

LOSSAN (LOS ANGELES TO SAN DIEGO TO SAN LUIS OBISPO) – Nation’s second busiest passenger rail corridor, stretching 351 miles from San Diego to Los Angeles to San Luis Obispo.

LRT (LIGHT RAIL TRANSIT) – The Metro Rail system is an example of a light rail transit system.

LRTP (LONG RANGE TRANSPORTATION PLAN) – Metro’s plan to assess future population increases projected for the county and what such increases will mean for future mobility needs. The plan recommends what can be done within anticipated revenues, as well as what could be done if additional revenues became available. The 2009 LRTP is an update to the 2001 Long Range Transportation Plan for future transportation investments in Los Angeles County through 2040.

MAGLEV – A magnetically levitated transportation system that is suspended, guided, and propelled by electromagnetic force.

MCGMAP (MULTI-COUNTY GOODS MOVEMENT ACTION PLAN) – A consensus strategy and implementation plan for Southern California goods movement system developed by Metro, Orange County Transportation Authority, Riverside County Transportation Commission, San Bernardino Associated Governments, Ventura County Transportation Commission, Caltrans Districts 7, 8, 11 and 12, San Diego Association of Governments, and Southern California Association of Governments.

MEASURE R – A sales tax initiative approved by Los Angeles County voters in 2008. Measure R established a one-half cent sales tax to be used for public transportation purposes, ending in 2039.

METRO RAIL – Metro’s electrified light rail and subway transit system.

METRO RAPID – Bus service on arterial streets with several attributes to improve service operating speeds including traffic signal priority, level boardings and alighting with low floor buses, fewer stops and active management of service operation.

METROLINK – Regional commuter rail system connecting Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, and Ventura counties. Service began in October 1992.

MICROMETER – A unit of measure equal to one millionth of a meter (one thousandth of a millimeter). Airborne particulate matter is measured in micrometers to help determine its level of threat to human respiratory health.

MICRON – Same as micrometer.

MOBILITY INDEX – Measures the ability of a region’s transportation systems (all modes) to move people. Higher indices are reached by transportation projects and systems that move people in either fewer vehicles or faster, or both. This index therefore is calculated by the product of aggregate average vehicle occupancy and aggregate speed of the entire region’s transportation trips.

MODE SHARE – Indicates the share of a transportation mode utilized by people for their transportation trips as compared to other modes and all of a region’s transportation trips as a whole.

MOSIP (MUNICIPAL OPERATOR SERVICE IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM) – Metro’s program designed to improve bus service for the transit dependent in Los Angeles County by reducing overcrowding and expanding services.

MPH (MILES PER HOUR) – Speed described as the distance traveled in one hour.

MPO (METROPOLITAN PLANNING ORGANIZATION) – The organization designated by the Governor and local elected officials as responsible for transportation planning in an urbanized area. It serves as the forum for cooperative decision making by principal elected officials of local government. The Governor designates a MPO in every urbanized area with a population of over 50,000 people. In the Southern California region, the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) is the designated MPO.

MULTIMODAL – Public transportation system which employs a combination of highway, bus, rail, high occupancy vehicles, bikeway, pedestrian land use and demand management systems.

NEPA (NATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY ACT) – Federal law which establishes national policy for environmental protection and provides for the establishment of a Council of Environmental Quality. Requires studies of impacts on the environment before specified projects are undertaken.

NHB (NON-HOME BASED) – A trip which neither begins nor ends at a trip-maker’s residence.

NHS (NATIONAL HIGHWAY SYSTEM) – This approximately 160,000-mile network consists of the 42,500 miles of the Interstate system, plus other key roads and arterials throughout the United States. Designated by Congress in 1995 pursuant to a requirement of ISTEA, the NHS is designed to provide an interconnected system of principal routes to serve major travel destinations and population centers.

NO-BUILD SCENARIO – Planning projection of what the future will be like without any new transportation investments added beyond what is currently under construction.

NOX (NITROGEN OXIDE) – The generic term given for a group of highly reactive gases, all of which contain nitrogen and oxygen in varying amounts. These ozone-producing gases are environmental pollutants that form when fuel is burned at high temperatures, as in the combustion process. Sources include automobile emissions, trucks, power plants, and other major industrial sources.

O&D (ORIGIN AND DESTINATION) – The location or zone where a trip begins and the location or zone where a trip ends.

O&M (OPERATIONS AND MAINTENANCE) – These are the costs associated with the regular running of a new transportation facility, including labor, vehicle maintenance, and overall facility maintenance.

OMB – The Office of Management and Budget.

OPERATING REVENUES – Monies used to fund general, day-to-day costs of running transportation systems. For transit the costs may include fuel, salaries and replacement parts; for roads, operating costs involve maintaining pavement, filling potholes, and paying workers’ salaries.

PARATRANSIT – Flexible forms of transportation services that are not confined to a fixed route. Paratransit is generally used to provide service for people with disabilities in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA).

PEAK PERIOD – The period during which the maximum amount of travel occurs. It may be specified as the morning (AM) or afternoon or evening (PM) peak.

PEDESTRIAN PRIORITY IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM – Metro’s Program of projects designed to enhance the pedestrian environment throughout Los Angeles County by developing safe, connected walking environments to promote non-motorized transport options.

PFP (PRIVATE FINANCIAL PARTICIPATION) – A contractual agreement between a public agency and private entity where the private entity invests private capital toward the delivery of transportation on projects.

PHT (PASSENGER HOURS TRAVELED) – The aggregate number of hours traveled by each passenger for each trip on a transportation mode such as transit.

PM (PARTICULATE MATTER) – Mixture of extremely small particles and liquid droplets made up of a number of components, including acids, organic chemicals, metals, and soil or dust particles. The size of the particles is directly linked to their potential for causing health problems. Of particular concern are those particles that are ten micrometers in diameter or smaller that can be inhaled into the lungs and potentially cause serious health effects.

PMT (PASSENGER MILES TRAVELED) – The aggregate number of miles traveled by each passenger for each trip on a transportation mode such as transit.

PPP (PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS) – Public-private partnerships refer to contractual agreements formed between a public agency and private sector entity that allow for greater private sector participation in the delivery of transportation projects. Traditionally, private sector participation has been limited to separate planning, design or construction contracts on a fee for service basis based on the public agency’s specifications. Expanding the private sector role is intended to allow the public agencies to tap private sector technical, management and financial resources in new ways to achieve certain public agency objectives such as greater cost and schedule certainty, supplementing in-house staff, innovative technology applications, specialized expertise or access to private capital.

PPV (PERSONS PER VEHICLE) – The number of persons per vehicle.

PROP A – Proposition A is a sales tax initiative approved by the Los Angeles County voters in 1980. The proposition established a one-half cent sales tax to be used for public transportation purposes.

PROP C – Proposition C is a sales tax initiative approved by the Los Angeles County voters in 1990 that established a one half-cent sales tax to be used for public transportation purposes.

PROP 42 – A statewide initiative approved in 2002 that requires gasoline sales tax revenues to be dedicated to transportation purposes.

PROP 1A – A statewide initiative approved in November 2006 which provides greater assurance that gasoline sales tax revenues will go to transportation. Proposition 1A allows the funds to be loaned to the General Fund only twice in a 10-year period and requires that funds be repaid within three years prior to making a second loan.

PROP 1B – A statewide initiative approved in November 2006 to fund existing and new transportation infrastructure capital programs and projects over ten years. Proposition 1B is also known as the Highway Safety, Traffic Reduction, Air Quality, and Port Security Bonds Act of 2006.

PTA (PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION ACCOUNT) – The State of California transportation trust fund that derives its revenue from sales and use taxes on diesel fuel and gasoline. These funds are distributed to the counties based on a formula.

PTC (POSITIVE TRAIN CONTROL) – Collision avoidance technology designed to prevent train collisions. Installation is mandated by December, 2015.

REGIONAL IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM – One of the state funding programs, it is also known as “Regional Choice”. Project selection is done by Metro and submitted to the California Transportation Commission for approval. The Regional Improvement Program allocates 75 percent of State transportation improvement funds. These funds may be used for capital projects including highways, arterials, guideways, rail projects, bikeways, transportation enhancements, and TSM and TDM activities.

RIDESHARE – The term generally refers to carpooling and vanpooling.

RIDESHARING – Two or more persons traveling by any mode, including but not limited to, automobile, vanpool, bus, taxi, jitney, and public transit.

RIITS (NETWORK REGIONAL INTEGRATION OF INTELLIGENT TRANSPORTATION SYSTEMS) – Metro sponsors the network. Caltrans, LADOT, California Highway Patrol and Metro all contribute information collected through their own Intelligent Transportation Systems. The network supports information exchange in real-time between freeway, traffic, transit and emergency service agencies to improve management of the Los Angeles County transportation system and better serve the traveling public.

ROG (REACTIVE ORGANIC GASES) – Carbon-based chemical pollutants that react with nitrogen and oxygen in the air in the presence of sunlight to form ozone. It has been shown that excessive ozone concentrations in the lower atmosphere are a cause of respiratory health problems, as well as a contributing factor to global warming.

ROLLING STOCK – Refers to any powered or unpowered vehicle that travels on a railway. This category includes passenger rail cars and locomotives.

RSTI (REGIONAL SURFACE TRANSPORTATION IMPROVEMENTS) – A category of improvements in Metro’s Call for Projects that includes major capital investments such as street widenings, realignments, grade separations and freeway ramp modifications.

RTIP (REGIONAL TRANSPORTATION IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM) – A list of proposed countywide highway and transportation projects which identifies funding sources, construction and timing schedules. In Los Angeles County, it is submitted to the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG), and incorporates projects identified in the county Transportation Improvement Program (TIP). Each county’s transportation commission in California prepares an RTIP and submits it to the salient metropolitan planning organization (MPO). The RTIP has a six-year planning period and is updated every other year.

RTP (REGIONAL TRANSPORTATION PLAN) – A comprehensive 20-year plan for the region, updated every four years by the Southern California Association of Governments. The RTP includes goals, objectives and policies; and recommends specific transportation improvements.

RTPA (REGIONAL TRANSPORTATION PLANNING AGENCY) – A state-designated agency responsible for preparing the Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) and the Regional Transportation Improvement Program (RTIP), administering state funds, and other regional transportation planning tasks.

SAFE (SERVICE AUTHORITY FOR FREEWAY EMERGENCIES) – One dollar from each vehicle registration within Los Angeles County is used to provide expanded and improved emergency call box service along the highways. SAFE is a separate legal entity from Metro.

SAFETEA-LU (SAFE, ACCOUNTABLE, FLEXIBLE, EFFICIENT TRANSPORTATION EQUITY ACT – A LEGACY FOR USERS) A multi-year federal transportation act, signed into law by President George W. Bush on August 10, 2005. The act authorizes $286 billion in funding for federal surface transportation programs over five years. SAFETEA-LU maintains the program structure
of its predecessor, TEA-21.

SB 375 (SENATE BILL 375) – Also known as California’s Sustainable Communities Strategy and Climate Protection Act, SB 375 calls for the integration of transportation, land-use and housing planning, and also establishes the reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions as one of the main goals for regional planning.

SCAB (SOUTH COAST AIR BASIN) – The geographic area defined by the San Jacinto Mountains to the east, the San Bernardino Mountains to the north, and the Pacific Ocean to the west and south. The entire SCAB is under the jurisdiction of the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD).

SCAG (SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF GOVERNMENTS) – SCAG is the federally-designated Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for six counties (Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino, Riverside, Ventura and Imperial). It is the regional agency responsible for developing a regional transportation plan for the six-county region.

SCAQMD (SOUTH COAST AIR QUALITY MANAGEMENT DISTRICT) – A regional agency which adopts and enforces regulations to achieve and maintain state and federal air quality standards. It is responsible for preparing the Air Quality Management Plan (AQMP) for the South Coast Air Basin. Also known as the AQMD.

SCRRA (SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA REGIONAL RAIL AUTHORITY) – The five county regional joint powers authority responsible for the operation of the Metrolink commuter train service.

SEALED CORRIDOR – Railroad grade crossing safety improvement plan designed to enhance safety at grade crossings. Metrolink’s sealed corridor program will identify rail corridors with several at-grade crossings and work to restrict vehicular access to the right-of-way along the entire stretch.

SELF-HELP APPROACHES – Financing measures initiated at the local level as a means of generating revenue to fund transportation improvements. Typically done when state and federal funds are scarce, these measures are intended to provide a reliable revenue stream.
SHOPP (STATE HIGHWAY OPERATIONS AND PROTECTION PROGRAM) – The state funding category used by Caltrans to maintain and operate state highways.

SHORT RANGE TRANSPORTATION PLAN – The 2003 Short Range Transportation Plan focuses on the phasing of transportation improvements through 2009 and relies on performance-based modeling to identify the best solution for each mobility challenge.
SIDING – A railroad passing track constructed to allow trains traveling on the same track in opposite directions to pass without interruption.

SIGNAL SYNCHRONIZATION – Traffic signal synchronization refers to the functioning relationship between active signals along a corridor. A common cycle length is established. All intersections in the coordinated system have the same cycle length. By maintaining a constant relationship between the signals at all times, there is a greater likelihood that mobility will be improved. This does not mean that the signals will provide a green light at the same time for the entire length of a corridor; rather, that each signal will quite literally be synchronized with the entire system, allowing for more efficient mobility.

SIP (STATE IMPLEMENTATION PLAN) – Metropolitan areas prepare regional air plans showing steps they plan to take to meet federal air quality standards and these are incorporated into the SIP. This is the state’s air quality plan required by the federal Clean Air Act.

SMART CARD – A device that is often the same size as a thin plastic credit card with an embedded microprocessor and is “smart” enough to hold its own data and applications and do its own processing. Smart cards can be used to store personal information, hold digital cash or prove identity.

SMART GROWTH – A set of policies and programs designed to protect, preserve and economically stimulate established communities while protecting valuable natural and cultural resources and limiting sprawl.

SOUNDWALL – Noise control walls and barriers built between highways and nearby homes that can reduce noise levels by 10-15 decibels.

SOV (SINGLE-OCCUPANT VEHICLE) – A vehicle with only one occupant. Also known as a “drive alone.”

STA (STATE TRANSIT ASSISTANCE) – STA funds are derived from half of the State Public Transportation Account which is funded from statewide sales tax on gasoline and diesel fuels. This funding source is distributed based on two factors – population and an agency’s bus/rail operator revenue as a ratio to the rest of the state transit operators.

STIP (STATE TRANSPORTATION IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM) – A program of projects that covers a five- to seven-year span, is updated every two years and determines the transportation projects that will be funded by the state.

STP (SURFACE TRANSPORTATION PROGRAM) – One of the key highway funding programs in TEA 21. STP monies may be spent on mass transit, pedestrian and bicycle facilities as well as on roads and highways. It is intended for use by the states and cities for congestion relief in urban areas. Congress annually appropriates funding for this program.

STRATEGIC UNFUNDED PLAN – An element of Metro’s LRTP which includes projects and programs which could be funded and implemented if new revenue sources became available.

SUBREGIONS – The nine geographic subregions of Los Angeles County include Arroyo Verdugo, Central Los Angeles, Gateway Cities, Las Virgenes/Malibu, North Los Angeles County, San Fernando Valley, San Gabriel Valley, South Bay Cities and Westside Cities.

SUSTAINABILITY – A manner to meet the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

TAP (TRANSIT ACCESS PASS) – A plastic card the size of a credit card with an embedded microprocessor commonly referred to as a “smart card.” Used as fare media in stored-value collection systems for multi-modal transit operations.

TCM (TRANSPORTATION CONTROL MEASURE) – A measure intended to reduce motor vehicle emissions. Examples of TCMs include programs encouraging ridesharing or public transit usage, city or county trip reduction ordinances, and the use of alternative fuels in motor vehicles.

TCRP (TRAFFIC CONGESTION RELIEF PROGRAM) – A five-year state transportation investment plan passed by the California Legislature and signed into law in 2000.

TDA (TRANSPORTATION DEVELOPMENT ACT) – Created by state law in 1972, the TDA authorized the use of ¼ of 1 percent of the state sales tax for transportation purposes. 1 percent of this revenue is allocated to Metro for its transportation planning activities.

TDM (TRANSPORTATION DEMAND MANAGEMENT) – Low-cost ways to reduce demand by automobiles on the transportation system, such as programs to promote telecommuting, flextime and ridesharing.

TEA-21 (TRANSPORTATION EQUITY ACT FOR THE 21ST CENTURY) – Passed by Congress in 1998, TEA-21 retained and expanded many of the programs created in 1991 under the Intermodal Surface Transportation Equity Act (ISTEA). The law reauthorized federal surface transportation programs for six years (1998-2003), and significantly increased overall funding for transportation. Its successor is SAFETEA-LU.

TEA (TRANSPORTATION ENHANCEMENT ACTIVITIES) – A SAFETEA-LU funding category where ten percent of STP monies must be set aside for projects that enhance the compatibility of transportation facilities with their surroundings. Examples of TEA projects include bicycle and pedestrian paths, restoration of rail stations or other historic transportation facilities, acquisition of scenic or open space lands next to travel corri-dors, and murals or other public art projects.

TEU – 20-foot equivalent unit is a measure of containerized cargo equal to one standard 20-foot by 8 foot by 8 ½ foot container.

TIP (TRANSPORTATION IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM) – This is the primary spending plan and funding plan listing federal funding expected to flow to the region from all sources for transportation projects of all types.

TITLE VI REQUIREMENTS – Title VI is a section of the federal Civil Rights Act, which requires recipients of federal funding to ensure that programs do not have the effect of subjecting persons to discrimination because of their race, color or national origin. The U.S. Department of Transportation establishes guidance regarding the analysis required to assess the benefits and burdens of transportation programs on various socio-economic groups.

TNET (TRANSIT NETWORK) – A mathematical representation of an area’s transit facilities, composed of transit lines and non-transit links.

TOD (TRANSIT ORIENTED DEVELOPMENT) – A type of development that links land use and transit facilities to support the transit system and help reduce sprawl, traffic congestion and air pollution. It calls for locating housing, along with complementary public uses (jobs, retail and services) at strategic points along a transit line.

TOS (TRAFFIC OPERATIONS SYSTEM) – In Los Angeles County, Caltrans and the CHP monitor traffic flows using detectors embedded in pavement and closed-circuit television cameras. This data enables efficient dispatching of CHP and FSP services. This data also is used for the Freeway changeable message boards and ramp metering.

TRANSITWAY – A transportation corridor dedicated for exclusive or preferential use by public transit vehicles, including rail vehicles, buses, carpools and vanpools.

TRANSPORTATION INFRASTRUCTURE – Transportation infrastructure generally refers to the state’s built transportation system including highways, bridges, railways, ports, and transit facilities. Infrastructure for “transit” systems includes the fixed components of the transit system, such as rights-of-way, buses and rail vehicles, tracks, signal equipment, stations, park-and-ride lots, bus stops and maintenance facilities.

TSM (TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM MANAGEMENT) – That part of the urban transportation planning process undertaken to improve the efficiency of the existing transportation system. The intent is to make better use of the existing transportation system by using short-term, low-capital transportation improvements that generally cost less and can be implemented more quickly than major capital projects.

TTI (TEXAS TRANSPORTATION INSTITUTE) – A transportation research group affiliated with Texas A&M University that publishes the annual Urban Mobility Report.

UNLINKED PASSENGER TRIP – A measure for a passenger boarding on a transit service. For example, a passenger using two different bus routes for the same journey would board two different buses and be counted as two unlinked passenger trips.

URBAN MOBILITY REPORT – Annual report released by the Texas Transportation Institute that ranks urban areas by various transportation and mobility indicators including congestion, average hours of highway delay, and regional public transportation investment.

U.S. DOT (UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION) – The federal cabinet-level agency with responsibility for highways, mass transit, aviation and ports headed by the secretary of transportation. The DOT includes the Federal Highway Administration and the Federal Transit Administration.

VEHICLE OCCUPANCY – The number of people aboard a vehicle at a given time; also known as auto or automobile occupancy when the reference is to automobile travel only.

VEHICLE TRIP – A one-way movement of a vehicle between two points.

VMT (VEHICLE-MILES TRAVELED) – The number of miles that vehicles are driven. VMT are key data for highway planning and management, and a common measure of roadway use. This data allows analysts to estimate on-road vehicle fuel consumption, congestion, air quality, and potential gas-tax revenues.

VSH (VEHICLE SERVICE HOURS) – The total hours of revenue service operated by transit service vehicles. This does not include deadhead hours.

VSM (VEHICLE SERVICE MILES) – The total miles traveled by transit service vehicles while in revenue service. This does not include deadhead mileage.

ZERO EMISSIONS – Refers to a type of engine or energy source that emits no waste products that pollute the environment and does not contribute to climate change.